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Gillespie Y-DNA Project

Rev. George Gillespie b.1613 of Kirkcaldy is NOT the grand daddy of us all !
  • 302 members

About us

WOW!!  Our Gillespie DNA Project celebrates its 19th anniversary in Dec. 2023. 

Our 1st kit #28870 (descendant of Thomas Gillespie & Naomi Thompson via son George) was purchased on Dec. 1, 2004.  This family line is BIG Y700 tested Hap I2 Y11857>Y11197>A5860>A17510.


Connie McKenzie - Contact Connie if you have questions about the Gillespie DNA Project, test results, additional orders, testee sub-grouping, BIGY analysis and creating a family SNP tree by using multiple BIGY tests and individual SNP tests.  Connie is a descendant of Group 1 Haplogroup I2 - Thomas Gillespie b1719 and Naomi Thompson - d1797 Rowan Co NC via son George.  Thomas and Naomi were the great-grandparents of US President James Knox Polk via daughter Lydia.

Charles Moore - Contact Charles about Gillespie DNA Group 2 Haplogroup I1, Haplogroup R1b-U106, and advanced Y-DNA analysis.  Charles is a descendant of Group 2 - William Gillespie born c1720 died c1801 Pendleton Dist SC.  The famous Gillespie Rifle Makers belong to Group 2.


Hap I2 Group 1 - Betty Gillespie Pollack - Contact Betty if you have questions about early Gillespie lines in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ohio.  Betty has also documented some unrelated Gillespie lines.

Project Administrators and Assistants are not FTDNA employees, they are genetic genealogy volunteers.
They do not receive any form of financial payment or any other incentive or reimbursement for their work.  Project administrators are responsible for the content on the project websites.  

Organization of DNA kits into subgroups and naming of those groups is done by project administrators after analyzing the comparative results.  Placement of DNA kits within the subgroups is dictated by FTDNA STR mutation programming and cannot be altered by project administrators. 
Project administrators have indicated the primary haplogroup branch and SNPs in the subgroup titles, where applicable, and have activated the SNP RESULTS display page.

The Gillespie DNA Project maintains a private discussion group at GroupsIO.   This is a "restricted" group for the use of our YDNA project members and their documented cousins.   Individuals must contact Connie McKenzie if they want to join this discussion group.  The focus of the group is the application of YDNA test results for the various Gillespie family lines.  

The Gillespie "Impossible Ancestor of All Time" is The Rev. George Gillespie of Kirkcaldy, Scotland.

Many Gillespies throughout the world, incorrectly, believe that they descend from The Rev. George Gillespie of Scotland 1613 - 1648 of Kirkcaldy Kirk.  So many Gillespies want to believe that this man is their ancestor that we now joke that sand fleas on Mars probably claim that Ol' Rev. George Gillespie is their ancestor.  If you believe he is your direct ancestor we have a bridge to sell you, but don't feel bad as a lot of us "bought" that bridge before you.

Our DNA project has proven that there are more than 50 separate and completely unrelated Gillespie lines (different haplogroups I1, I2, R-U106, R-L21, R-M222 to name a few) that believed they were descendants of this Rev. George Gillespie.  As those Gillespie lines are not related to each other - proven by Y-DNA results - they cannot all descend from one male Gillespie line.  Unfortunately as of 2022, our project has been unable to locate a documented male Gillespie descendant of Rev. George Gillespie and we do not have funds or permission to exhume the remains of Rev. George Gillespie for DNA testing. We do not have a DNA sample of this Gillespie line.  We are still hopeful, but worry that this line may have daughtered or died out.  Rev. George Gillespie and his father Rev. John Gillespie are believed to be buried under the stone floor of the Kirkcaldy Kirk. The Kirk is now serving as a community center and many items related to Rev. George Gillespie have been removed. There is a genealogy posted at the Kirk for Rev. George Gillespie that contains undocumented, and we believe, inaccurate/outdated, information leading to Gillespie descendants in the USA, provided some years ago by researchers from the USA.

The Impossible Ancestor #2 is James Gillespie and Elizabeth Riddle.

James Gillespie and Elizabeth Riddle are also on our list of "Impossible Ancestors" who may or may not have migrated to colonial America. This couple is often claimed by descendants of Gillespie lines that are unrelated - as proven by Y-DNA testing.  We have not located any actual documents for James Gillespie and Elizabeth Riddle.